Only brave and very, very hungry carnivores should take Tony Covatta up on the "Great Steak Challenge" at his Steak & Main Oyster Bar-Steak House.
Devour 5 1/2 pounds of food (mostly red meat) in one hour and Covatta will hand over $100 in cash and put your picture on the wall of his North East, Md., restaurant.
Oh, and dinner is free.
But if you can't clean your plate in 60 minutes, expect a bill for $140 and, quite possibly, a bellyache and a serious reprimand from a cardiologist.
Twenty-six people have attempted the "Great Steak Challenge" since Covatta began daring diners 10 months ago; only five have succeeded.
One indulger who recently stuffed his face with steak was Adam Richman, host of the new Travel Channel series "Man v. Food."
Richman and a film crew spent 12 hours in early August at the 107 S. Main St. restaurant for an episode that's scheduled to air Oct. 28.
"Man v. Food," shown at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, showcases Richman as he travels the country in search of places to do some serious scarfing. He's hoovered an Atomic Hot Wings platter in Pittsburgh, gobbled a 13-pound pizza in Atlanta, and forked through a dozen-egg omelette in Seattle. (We're guessing Richman also carts around a suitcase stuffed with Pepto-Bismol.)
Covatta says "Man v. Food" producers heard about his "Great Steak Challenge" through competitive eating circles and the web site eatfeats.com.
"They called up me. I thought, 'Wow! Awesome.' It was so cool. I've been in this business 44 years, and just when you think you've seen it all, something like this happens," says Covatta, who has previously owned the Nauti-Goose in Maryland, the Red Rose Inn in Pennsylvania and 15 restaurants on Philadelphia's Main Line.
Cholesterol counters and vegetarians, you may want to stop reading now, for the "Great Steak Challenge" encourages customers to gorge on a 26-ounce Delmonico steak, an 8-ounce filet mignon, a 12-ounce New York strip, a 12-ounce veal chop, and 16-ounces of flat iron steak, as well as a baked potato and a side of vegetables.
"It's all prime meat. It's the best steak," Covatta says.
The restaurateur has been amazed at the diners who have stepped up to the plate, so to speak. Size definitely doesn't matter when it comes to this chow down.
"A 110-pound Japanese lady did it," he says. "We have all ages of people. It's not easy. I'm probably 230 [pounds] and I can't do it."
So did Richman meet the challenge?
"I can't tell you that," Covatta says. But he will say that cameras were rolling for the entire hour that Richman feasted and he was cheered on by about 40 of Covatta's friends and family.
"There was no script anywhere. The guy is off the hook. He's an eating machine," Covatta says.
Hmmm, is that a hint? Covatta's mouth is sealed.
Stay tuned. Visit mysteakandmain.com or www.travelchannel.com for more information.